Shelf + Rifle
Sep
20
to Sep 22

Shelf + Rifle

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Shelf Road:

Shelf Road is home to many quality sport routes on quality, vertical limestone. The area has recently been improved with the addition of a few new crags. Rock & Ice #103 [October 2000] (the one with Josune Bereziartu on the cover) has a mini-guide to the new areas, which are not yet covered in any guidebook. The other good guides are Shelf Road Rock by Fred Knapp and Rock Climbing Shelf Road by Mark Van Horn.

Getting There:

To get to Shelf, travel to Canon City. From Boulder, it is fastest to go I-25 to Colorado Springs, then take the exit for Canon City (beware this is tough to spot - it is poorly marked, if you miss it, exit in the south part of town and travel west until you intersect CO Highway 115). Travel SW on CO 115 to US Hwy 50, then west about 10 miles to Canon City. In Canon City, take a right at the first light past the Wal-Mart (Dozier St), or take a right at the next light which is Reynolds. Travel north and the road will curve to the left and intersect Field (not Fields as Knapp says) Avenue.

Turn north on Field and travel on this weird two lane road for about five miles, when it joins up with Fremont County Road 9 via a 'Y' type intersection. From here, it is 9.4 miles to the entrance to Shelf Road, which is marked with a sign indicating as much.

Local Climbing Coalition: https://www.pikespeakclimbersalliance.org/about_us

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105744267/shelf-road

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Rifle:

Simply put, Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America, especially at the 5.12 and up grades. This riparian mountain canyon 200 miles west of Boulder has undergone numerous evolutionary phases over the last decade, yet it still maintains its allure and is fairly crowded on most weekends from May through September.

The climbing at Rifle varies from slightly overhanging to very overhanging, and the routes are generally long, complex endurance-fests on large, flat holds, pockets, crimps and funky pinches. Constant traffic on some of the older routes, especially at the Ruckman Cave and the Wasteland, has turned the footholds black with shoe rubber. Many of the older routes have surely gained a letter grade or two from the grease factor alone.

Rifle hosts one of, if not the largest concentration of 5.13-5.14 sport routes in America, most of them natural, most of them quality. The rock itself, limestone of the Leadville formation, varies both in quality and aspect from wall to wall. The Wasteland, for example, offers short (50 foot) power routes on pocket and tufa-riddled stone similar to the good stuff in Europe; the towering Anti-Phil Wall, with its perfect crimpers and smooth pockets reminds one of the Blasphemy Wall at the VRG; and the looming steepness of The Arsenal offers blocky cave climbing on "pile" rock reminiscent of the good stuff at American Fork. But these are just a few of the walls.

Rifle is somewhat lacking in "moderate" routes, which can be frustrating for novice & mid-level sport climbers. This has more to do with the nature of the rock than the prejudice of route developers. The lower-angled rock tends to be covered in silt, moss, or both. Attempts to clean are somewhat futile as regular rains re-deposit a fresh layer of munge on a near-weekly basis. There are enough high quality 5.11s & below to keep most climbers busy for at least a week.

It's important to remember that access to Rifle Mountain Park has been an issue in the past. The park is owned by the city of Rifle, and locals from town were going up there to camp, barbecue, fish and picnic long before we climbers ever showed up. The Canyon is open to new route development on a permit system only, and any rock owned by fish hatchery at the west end of the Canyon is strictly off-limits.

Pay your $5 entrance fee, don't park where you're not supposed to, and keep a low, friendly profile. You can get season passes, which are a great deal, from the campground host/park ranger or at the City of Rifle Parks Department in town. The climbing here is excellent, and there's more than enough routes to go around.

While Rifle does offer a handful of moderate routes, they're generally quite polished and uninspiring. The steep stone doesn't suffer from constant run-off like the slabbier stuff, hence the "good" climbing seems to start around 11a or so. Currently the hardest route at Rifle is 5.14c.

Getting There:

Drive west to Glenwood Springs on I-70. Ten miles further west take the Newcastle exit. Turn right off the freeway and come to a stop sign. Continue straight (north) on a four-lane road that then bends west through Castle Valley, a housing development just outside of town. After a couple of miles this road dead ends at Grass Valley Road.

Follow Grass Valley Road west, passing the turn-offs for East Elk Canyon, Main Elk Canyon (home of the Fortress of Solitude), West Elk Canyon, and Harvey Gap. After about 6-8 miles Grass Valley Road comes to a T-intersection. Turn right and follow this paved road up up up past the fish hatchery, where it turns to dirt. You're now in Rifle Mountain Park.

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105744310/rifle-mountain-park

Local Climbing Coalition: http://www.roaringforkclimbers.com/community.htm

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Voo + Penitente
Sep
27
to Sep 29

Voo + Penitente

Vedauwoo:

A good mixture of climbing abounds. There are trad lines up to three pitches, great slabby routes, and offwidths (ouch!).

There is an entrance fee for the Central Area and for Lower Blair (if you park in front of Blair III). Otherwise, access to the crags is free. The fee areas are Federal land, so Golden Eagle and Golden Age passes are accepted. The camping, once totally free in the surrounding areas, has become more restricted. There is a fee campground in the Central Area with tables and outhouses. As of May 2018, Forest Service policy in the Laramie Ranger District indicates that the free dispersed camping along Forest Road 700 (Vedauwoo Road) between I-80 and Happy Jack Road (WY 210) is limited to 73 marked and numbered sites. Previously, free camping was permitted wherever was not explicitly prohibited.

Laramie is a college town with some local brew and dining available a mere 10 miles away. There are a great number of moderate classics as well as some stiffer grades for the big guns out there. There are areas right off the road and some more remote where you'll have little company. Most formations have walkoffs, but rap bolts are fairly prevalent.

Super must do classics include: Edward's Crack 5.7 (2 pitches), Kim 5.6, Friday The 13th 5.11a, 5.11 Crack 5.9+, MRC Direct 5.9.

Getting there:

You can't miss it. No, you really can't miss it! Take I-25 North to Cheyenne. From Cheyenne, go West on I-80 to the Vedauwoo Road, Exit 329. Look for the rocks to the North of the Interstate. You're there.

Per Ken Cramer: the Third Street exit is MM313 and the Summit exit is MM323. The Vedauvoo exit is MM329 on I-80. So figure on 20 minutes uphill past the Summit and beyond to Vedauwoo. It is 10 miles to the Summit and 16 to Vedauwoo.

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105744307/vedauwoo

Penitente:

Penitente Canyon is a beautiful, small canyon on BLM lands located in the San Luis Valley - south central Colorado. The area is primarily a sport climbing destination with a few trad lines. The bouldering opportunities here are (I think) mostly undeveloped but almost limitless.

As per D'Antonio's guidebook (Falcon - Rock Climbing the San Luis Valley), the rock is a volcanic tuft. This translates into bullet proof rock with great friction. Many climbs utilize small crimps and edges, while others scale hueco - ridden walls. The trad lines follow rough cracks - bring plenty of tape.

From my experience, all bolted lines are well done, with good hardware and placements providing well protected routes. The majority of routes are .10 & above, with very few moderates. With the excellent bolted protection, however, this is a nice place to push the grades.

Camping is on site, costs a nominal amount (the guidebook says it is free - this has changed!), and has standard BLM regulations. Per Jesse Morehouse: as of 2012, the site fee for single site is now $11 and the group rate is $20 with 3 group sites now. Water is provided down the road from the climbing / camping area (another recent development - follow the signs), and the nearest 'goods' can be found at the 'La Garita Cash Store'.

Please note that there are several distinct climbing areas other than Penitente Canyon, including the Rock Garden, Witches Canyon, and others. Some of these are on or near private property, so be sure to watch for & obey the signs.

Trying not to ramble, but this place just rocks!!! Fun, fun, and a bit more fun.

Eds. Note, BLM Law Enforcement Ranger hand out $50 citations to people who had occupied a campsite without filling out the form and submitting the money. Even at night!

Getting There:

From Denver, W on US 285. Keep going... When you're 12 miles N of Del Norte, take a right on 'G'. Follow for 7 miles. Stop at the La Garita Cash Store & spend a couple bucks. Say hi. Get back in the car, keep going West. After the pavement ends (roughly 1 mile after the Cash Store), keep to the left on Cty 38. At the 1 mile mark, as the road turns left (South), take a right. Follow the signs.

Local Climbing Coalition: https://www.slvclimb.org/

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105744316/penitente-canyon

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Shelf + Black Canyon
Oct
4
to Oct 6

Shelf + Black Canyon

Shelf Road

Shelf Road is home to many quality sport routes on quality, vertical limestone. The area has recently been improved with the addition of a few new crags. Rock & Ice #103 [October 2000] (the one with Josune Bereziartu on the cover) has a mini-guide to the new areas, which are not yet covered in any guidebook. The other good guides are Shelf Road Rock by Fred Knapp and Rock Climbing Shelf Road by Mark Van Horn.

Getting There:

To get to Shelf, travel to Canon City. From Boulder, it is fastest to go I-25 to Colorado Springs, then take the exit for Canon City (beware this is tough to spot - it is poorly marked, if you miss it, exit in the south part of town and travel west until you intersect CO Highway 115). Travel SW on CO 115 to US Hwy 50, then west about 10 miles to Canon City. In Canon City, take a right at the first light past the Wal-Mart (Dozier St), or take a right at the next light which is Reynolds. Travel north and the road will curve to the left and intersect Field (not Fields as Knapp says) Avenue.

Turn north on Field and travel on this weird two lane road for about five miles, when it joins up with Fremont County Road 9 via a 'Y' type intersection. From here, it is 9.4 miles to the entrance to Shelf Road, which is marked with a sign indicating as much.

Local Climbing Coalition: https://www.pikespeakclimbersalliance.org/about_us

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105744267/shelf-road

Black Canyon

Wallace Hansen: "Several western canyons exceed the Black Canyon in overall size.... some are longer, some are deeper, some are narrower, and a few have walls as steep. But no other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness, and somber countenance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison."

Getting There:

The Black Canyon of Gunninson is located approximately 250 miles SW of Denver.
South Rim: 15 miles east of Montrose, via U.S. Hwy 50 and CO Hwy 347.
North Rim: 11 miles south of Crawford, via CO Hwy 92 and North Rim Road (closed in winter).

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105744397/black-canyon-of-the-gunnison

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Indian Creek
Oct
11
to Oct 13

Indian Creek

Indian Creek:

There are lots of cracks here on the Wingate sandstone. Lots of people now, too. Tread lightly.

Getting There:

To get to the Creek from Moab, go south on US 191 toward Monticello and look for SH 211, which includes a Canyonlands sign, and go right (west). Watch for the Utah State Patrol on 191 and Mule Deer on 211. After the road winds and goes downhill, you will pass Newspaper Rock on your right. In a few miles you have pretty much entered Indian Creek Canyon.

Environmental:

Please Respect and Protect archaeological sites: Stay on trail, help prevent damage. Don’t move artifacts, let everyone enjoy the discovery. Stay out of ancient buildings and off walls, they are fragile! Report looting and vandalism: 1 800 722 3998

Local Climbing Coalition: https://friendsofindiancreek.wordpress.com/

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105716763/indian-creek

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Slaydiez + Splatt
Oct
18
to Oct 20

Slaydiez + Splatt

Photo Credit by Wilson Rawling

Photo Credit by Wilson Rawling

Slaydiez Shelf:

This trip ventures to our favorite desination, shelf road for some crushing and strong lady power! We welcome non-binary and female identified folks to leave the broiness behind and enjoy some rad totally judgement free climb time!

South Platte:

The South Platte, a vast granite playground to the south and west of Denver, is known for its incredible crack climbs, strung out slabs, and towering summits. It encompasses the entire area between Conifer, and Sedalia, and just about everything south to the Elevenmile Canyon west of Colorado Springs.

To climb successfully in the South Platte, it helps to be the adventurous type and like exploring. Many of these crags are well hidden until you stumble upon them! The rock quality can vary widely from bulletproof, fine grained granite to very coarse, friable rock which can feel like climbing on ball bearings at times.

Bring a well-rounded rack of cams, some routes eat up double or triples in some sizes, and don't forget to bring a few big pieces. Tape gloves are a good idea at a lot of these spots too, otherwise your hands will get trashed.

Getting There:

Please refer to the individual areas for detailed information on how to get there. Always bring a good map when traveling in the Platte!

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105797719/south-platte

Local Climbing Coalition: https://www.pikespeakclimbersalliance.org/about_us

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Sinks Canyon
Oct
25
to Oct 27

Sinks Canyon

Sinks Canyon State Park:

Sinks Canyon is a premier climbing destination, plus its proximity to the Wind River range, Wild Iris, Fossil Hill, Baldwin Creek, and the NOLS headquarters make the Lander area something to check out. Maybe even over and over. If you haven't headed up there, maybe even check out the annual climbers fest (July - climbersfestival.org ), where Lander throws climbers a big 'ol party. This canyon has it all; three types of rock : limestone, granite, and sandstone; sport, bouldering, and trad; with alpine climbing just further up in the Winds.

The sandstone and granite are predominately trad while the limestone is mainly sport. The south facing cliffs of the Main walls and Fairfield Hill are sunny and warm, making the best season to climb here spring and fall. Rock quality is generally good to superb. The order of the cliffs on the main limestone wall from east to west (down to up canyon) is: Scud Wall, Killer Cave, Camel Jockey, Briskets, White Heat Wall, Addiction, The Citadel, Hardware Wall, Fallen Idol, The Moss/Wave Cave, Purple Galaxy, and the Wilds. Fairfield Hill (East, Central, and West) is further west (upcanyon). Watch out for 1) afternoon thunderstorms rolling off the Winds 2) numerous rattlesnakes and 3) locals who have 'Killer' wired.

For amenities, Lander is one of THE climber friendliest towns ever. You can camp in the grassy city park for free with a three day limit. There a three pay campgrounds ($10?) as you head up into the canyon, with the third located within walking distance of the main approach trails. These campgrounds are free September - April, which contains much of the climbing best season. A year-round free campground is located just 1/2 mile up the canyon on the left, after the Geology Camp. This has even has a bathroom and a trashcan, pretty sites, some accessible only via short 4WD types of roads or drag your gear into them. These can be popular with the local Lander teens. Theft has been more of a problem here, and somewhat at the pay campgrounds, according to local law enforcement. Lander has a decent collection of reasonable motels for 'that' kind of crowd. There are a handful of good restaurants, such as the Gannet Grill, a Chinese place, a Mexican joint and others. There are two grocery stores. There is a climbing gym for when you have been snowed out: Elemental Fitness (307-332-0480), 134 Lincoln Street. The National Outdoor Leadership School is centered in Lander at 502 Lincoln. You can get a showers at NOLS, Elemental Fitness, or the Lander pool.

Lander, Sinks and this area of Wyoming is something to cherish. Have fun, be respectful to the locals (including them feisty rattlesnakes), and pack out all trash.

Getting There

Head to Lander (NW of Rawlins, NE of Rock Springs) and head southwest of town on Wy 131.

Location Climbing Coalition: http://www.wyomingclimbers.org/

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105827053/sinks-canyon

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CREEK
Nov
8
to Nov 10

CREEK

Indian Creek:

There are lots of cracks here on the Wingate sandstone. Lots of people now, too. Tread lightly.

Getting There:

To get to the Creek from Moab, go south on US 191 toward Monticello and look for SH 211, which includes a Canyonlands sign, and go right (west). Watch for the Utah State Patrol on 191 and Mule Deer on 211. After the road winds and goes downhill, you will pass Newspaper Rock on your right. In a few miles you have pretty much entered Indian Creek Canyon.

Environmental:

Please Respect and Protect archaeological sites: Stay on trail, help prevent damage. Don’t move artifacts, let everyone enjoy the discovery. Stay out of ancient buildings and off walls, they are fragile! Report looting and vandalism: 1 800 722 3998

Local Climbing Coalition: https://friendsofindiancreek.wordpress.com/

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105716763/indian-creek

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Escalante, CO + Roy, NM
Nov
15
to Nov 17

Escalante, CO + Roy, NM

Escalante, Co

Escalante Canyon is Colorado's version of Indian Creek, the way it used to be. The rock isn't as extensive or solid, but the climbs are sweet.

The rock is sandstone, similar to that in Colorado National Monument which is only about 25 miles away. Approaches are short and crowds are minimal. There is climbing on both sides of the canyon but most of the routes are on the south-facing side. Some areas are on private property. The ranch owner has been open to climbing so long as there are not large groups. When in doubt, ask one of the ranch hands.

The only published guide to the area is in Eric Bjornstad's original Desert Rock Book which is out of print. This underlines the fact that the area has great history that precedes many of the bolting ethics in play today that have taken areas such as Indian Creek by storm.

Many of the routes and/or pitches here do not have bolted anchors. In most cases, this was a conscious decision by the first ascentionists to leave no trace. Please respect the wishes of these pioneers when considering installation of fixed hardware.

If the case arises that the climb seems to hard or unlikely to go to the rim, it is always possible to rap in from the top to retrieve gear to avoid bolting. In many areas, there are evidence of bolting and bolt removal where someone assumed a line was unclimbed and set anchors where in fact there were anchors a short distance higher and out of view.

It should be stressed that these are crack climbs, but Escalante is not Indian Creek. Please respect the history of the area.

Getting There

There are many different areas to camp in the canyon. Please do not camp at the public pullout for The Potholes. A few of the main locations are on the left if going up canyon at mileage of 5 and 5.5 from the Cabin at Cabin wall. Take heed to the private property signs. Most camping areas have a manageable road established and do NOT have no camping allowed signs in front of them.

Local Climbing Coalition: http://westernslopeclimbers.blogspot.com/

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105788880/escalante-canyon

Roy, New Mexico

The Roy climbing area is nestled deep in cattle ranching territory along the Canadian River valley in the North Eastern corner of New Mexico. The Roy climbing area is named after the eponymous small town just a short distance from the climbing areas.

Roy offers many superb boulder problems, sport climbs and even some trad climbs for those willing to venture a bit further than the average Roy climber. Located just next to Canadian River, which created this canyon as it cut through the Dakota sandstone. At first I was pretty reluctant to put anything on the internet, but with the release of the awesome New Mexico Bouldering Guidebook, the internet and forums/articles on this place I thought it was of good use.

Please tread lightly and respectfully. Right now land owners and the forest service are on good terms with climbers and climbing visitors must be on their best behavior when visiting this relatively new climbing destination. Please close all gates behind you, stay on established roads, drive slowly and heed all road closure signs.

Very minimal parking spots (1-2) exist at most of these areas so large groups are not recommended. Make sure to clean up after yourself. This means packing out your used toilet paper (and use Wag Bags please.) Stay on established trails and camp in existing campsites so we can all continue to recreate in this beautiful area.

The best times to climb at Roy are mid-fall to mid-spring, otherwise it will be just be too hot. Many contend going to Joe's or Hueco is a better option, with more established problems and bigger areas, and, although this may be true, Roy holds a small special place in an out-there, wild and special setting.

Getting There:

From Colorado Springs or Albuquerque it's about 4 hours if you're driving. From Roy Drive about 10 miles north and look for a left hand gravel/dirt road with "Mills Canyon Campground" on it after ~5 miles on this road continue straight through the cattle gaurd and sign for Kiowa National Grasslands. Continue straight for Mills canyon or take the most left turn for Mesteño Bouldering.

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/116551105/roy

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CU Be Involved Fair
Aug
28
2:00 PM14:00

CU Be Involved Fair

Come get psyched on the Alpine Club and meet the Board at the CU Be Involved Fair! We will be set up on Norlin Quad all afternoon - use your stoke-senses to find us, or look for the Recreation section on the field. Either way works.

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